Today we had a writing moderation where we invited two other schools to attend so that we could cross check our grading and levelling. Working just across year groups and key stages is excellent practice, but being able to do this activity with other local schools ensures that you are making the same judgements as they are. Schools can get very inward looking, therefore sharing good practice and discussing ways of doing things, allows for more professional development as well as letting teachers to have relevant conversations about things they do in their school.
Sharing good practice is essential for schools to keep working towards ‘outstanding.’ Things can get stale and teachers become used to doing things their own way. Being able to meet with teachers from other schools allows for these conversations to help develop what they do in the classroom and to try out new things.
Thinking about this tonight I have realised that there is some major advantage to developing consistent links between schools. Once in a while, having a meeting for teachers to meet allows them to have short, brief discussions about specific issues. However, consider having sessions like this at least every small term. Consider sharing meetings enough times with the local schools where teachers weren’t just acquaintances, but actually began to get to know these other teachers…..’getting to know’ them enough that they become comfortable calling them up on the phone to ask for advice or to share recent practice. What if these links were so strong that we began depending on them to evaluate, discuss and keep up to date in regards to recent trends and initiatives? How powerful could this be?
I have only just begun thinking about this. I’m sure there are schools, perhaps groups of schools part of an academy, that are already working towards this model. But, I thrive on sharing issues and ideas with other headteachers. I could not do my job without these discussions. We are able to share practice, concerns, issues and support each other through all of the ‘ups and downs’ that comes with being a headteacher. This partnership often keeps you sane while keeping you on your toes.
So, build up your partnerships and improve practice and outcomes for all…..